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Blog November 3, 2022

Public Guides: next-generation EDI implementation guides for real-time partner onboarding

Headshot of Mohan Pichika
Mohan Pichika

Every EDI relationship begins with an implementation guide. These EDI implementation guides have been shared in the same format for decades – they’re typically PDFs with dozens or hundreds of pages of details to sift through, and a successful EDI implementation requires getting the details just right.

After reviewing and implementing a partner’s guide, companies have no way of validating their EDI files locally. Their only option to test is to send test files and hope that they’re correct, wasting time and effort on both sides. The fixing of one error reveals another, dragging the partner onboarding process on for weeks. Throw in the fact that many PDF implementation guides and sample files have errors within them, you begin to understand why EDI gets a bad reputation.

To solve these problems, we’ve built Public Guides – a radically new and improved way for businesses to share EDI specifications and speed up the trading partner onboarding process. A public guide is a live, interactive web page that is accessible by anyone with a link. Links can be shared directly with trading partners or included in an EDI portal – they provide the same information as a traditional PDF guide, but allow users to instantly validate and troubleshoot EDI files right in the browser. An intuitive UI and helpful error messages lead them to quickly build EDI files that conform to the guide’s specifications, reducing the testing process from weeks to hours – and eliminating dozens of back-and-forth emails.

Stedi guides can be built out in minutes by anyone using a no-code visual interface, regardless of technical ability. Existing PDFs can be quickly replicated into a Stedi guide, or new guides can be built from scratch. Once built, a guide can be made public instantly.


  • Interactive documentation for trading partners to easily navigate specifications with contextual references. No more scrolling through dozens of pages in a PDF.
  • Embedded EDI Inspector to help your partners instantly validate EDI payloads against your requirements without sending you any traffic.
  • Built-in support for all X12 transaction sets and releases, allowing you to configure X12-conformant specifications without custom development.
  • Customizable specifications, so you can make the X12 standard work for you and not be constrained by strict interpretation.
  • No coding experience required to build a public guide using the visual interface.
  • Brand your guide with a business logo and name, a custom URL slug, and a link to your own website.

Public Guides is now generally available

Try it for yourself by creating a Stedi guide using the guide builder interface. Creating guides and sharing them within your organization is entirely free. Public Guides has no setup fees or long-term subscriptions, and are a flat $250 per month per public guide.

Using Public Guides

Creating a guide: You can create a Stedi guide based on a PDF guide from a trading partner, or from scratch.
Using the guide builder UI, you can create a new guide starting with the X12 release (e.g. 5010) and transaction set (e.g. 810 Invoice). You’ll then select the necessary segments and elements and, if necessary, customize each of them based on your requirements. For more details, see the user guide.
Guides UI
Customizing the branding: To customize the appearance of your guide, you can click on “published guide settings” on the guides listing page.
Making your guide public: Once your changes are published, you can make your guide public by choosing the “Actions → Make public” option on the guide. You can view the guide by clicking on “Actions → View public guide”. You can also make this guide private at any time. You can also see a preview of your guide page before making it public.
Sharing the guide: Once a guide is made public, you can view the guide using “Actions → View public guide” option on the guide builder. You can use the "Share" option on this page to get the link to be shared with your partners or to embed into your EDI resources page.
Accessing the public guide (partners): To access a public guide, partners just need to click on the link you send them. The guide will be available to them on a web browser.

You or a trading partner can also export the guide as a PDF. The PDF still retains all the references so partners can look up information on the segments and elements in the transaction set that they don’t fully understand from the guide. However, you’ll miss the ability to validate EDI files.

guide preview
Validating EDI files (partners): Once a partner is on the public guide page, they can use EDI Inspector to validate an EDI file instantly. To use Inspector, one can click the EDI Inspector link and paste their EDI file contents into the designated area. The validation and error messages will be specific to the underlying guide.
EDI Inspector in Guides
Machine-readable EDI specifications

Define EDI requirements easily using a no-code visual interface. The output is an artifact that can be used to share interactive documentation, or for parsing, generating, or validating X12 EDI documents.

Try Guides Learn more 
Translate between JSON and EDI with modern, machine-readable EDI specifications

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